By Verdzekov Bernard
ACHU – [MAKON SPECIAL] In Cameroon
Achu is a Makon traditional dish. It is a special. The meal is made up of a mixture of a couple of ingredients that gives its name Achu. We have yellow soup, coco and boiled banana mixed. This actually change forms during cooking process. The meal was derived by the four fathers of the Makon people. There is this saying in Cameroon that, “Makon people are confused or rather that, the move for long distances”. “That the move from one place to another with no particular destination in their mind”. “The say their four fathers left numerous lands for their children to be able to sell and take care of their children when they are dead”. So, after the move for long distances or miles, checking the land their four-father left, they need to eat heavy, or before covering the long distance by trekking, the meal good that could be best for replenishing the energy the lost, is ACHU. That is for the Makon people. In Cameroon, many people eat Achu. The dish Is delicious and it is actually heavy. In so many restaurants in Cameroon specialized in traditional dishes, Achu is one of the dishes you will find amongst the other traditional dishes. Preparing this dish, you need a couple of ingredients. And also, you have to be cautious too. So, read carefully and make sure you go through this process order if you want to come up with the dish Achu.
- Achu banana
- Red oil
- Garden egg(optional)
- Meat (dry meat, cow intestine, towel)
- Canda (cow skine)
- Wash and boil cocoyam with the skin. Note, do not peel of the cocoyam skin. When boiling do your timing. When it is 15min of boiling add your banana into the pot to. Do not peel of the skin. Making Achu with banana is not done by everyone, but doing it with the banana makes your Achu good. When you boil the cocoyams and banana for about an hour, remove and pawn in a mortar with a pistol. Start with cocoyam first reasons being that if you should pawn your bananas first, and keep, as it gets cold, it may harden. When pawning the cocoyams, apply water to it. A little bit of water so as to soften the yams and to prevent it from being strong.
- After you have pawn all of your yams, keep it aside and removed your banana from the pot and pawn too. While pawning add your yams to it and pawn together. Another reason while you couldn’t mix all together is to prevent your Achu from having looms. After you have finished with the pawning process, keep aside reserved while you go on to make your Achu soup (also known as yellow soup).
- Wash your meat. Boil in water for 15-20min with salt (to taste) and remove. This should be dry meat and towel together (caw towel). Keep aside. Wash your canda (caw skin) and boil for about 25-30min with salt to taste when it is ready, remove and throw the water for the canda. After all this, put pot aside.
- Take your Niki (lime stone) and dilute in water. When it has completely dissolved, drain to make sure they are no stones or sand to it.
- Put another pot on the fire and put your oil in it. Allow it to get warm for about 3-5min remove the pot or stop the heat. Pour your limestone into the red oil. When doing this taste. This is to make sure the lime in the oil is not excess as it may spoil the soup and even give sour-throat to those that will consume it. When pouring the lime in the oil, it will start changing its color to yellow. When it is yellow to your taste or to the right color of Achu soup, stop applying lime. Stair well and add the meat together with the meat water, and then your canda. Stair well for about 10min, add your traditional Achu spices, pepper, maggi and salt to taste. Stair again for like 15-20min and then, your Achu is ready.
NOTE: To maximize time, while your cocoyams and banana are on the fire, put meat in another pot and put on the fire too, so that it could be getting ready, since canda takes more time to get ready.
To eat this dish, it also has a particular process done by the Makon people and it is adopted by many or even all who eat this particular dish. When you are about to eat this dish, put your Achu into your plate, and bore a hole. This is, bore a hole in the middle. And the corners sealed and well-shaped. This is to prevent your yellow soup from being spilled all over the plate when you put the soup in the bore hole. Though, during eating process the source could as well be spilled, keeping it in tacked before eating is the best way you could ever serve Achu and yellow soup to a Makon man or a Cameroonian. The picture above gives a good illustration about boring a hole and putting the soup in the middle and the meat and vegetable(optional), garden-egg and meat at the corners of the Achu.